How to Improve Your Workaway Profile: An Interview With a Workaway Host

Kathi & Gerald in the barn at Milchmäderl
[Kathi and Gerald with one of their sheep. Courtesy of Milchmäderl’s website.]
This is an interview with Kathi, a Workaway host. She and her partner, Gerald, own their own organic sheep farm: Milchmäderl. They produce various cheeses, like ricotta, Camembert, feta, halloumi, soft cheese (kinda like cream cheese), and hard cheese (like Pecorino). They started their farm about an hour west of Vienna in 2017. You can read more of their story below, or follow them on Instagram!

Workaway is a platform that connects people who want to volunteer with hosts all around the world. You can do almost anything on Workaway – opportunities vary and can include nannying, farm work, construction, web design, and more! Most of the time, you do not get paid with Workaway as it is purely a volunteer/cultural exchange experience, although there are some opportunities where you do. Normally, you volunteer about 25 hours/week in exchange for housing and food, but it does vary on the host.

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How to Find Free Camping in California

Kelsey in front of an orange tent camping near Mono Lake in Mammoth, California in the Eastern Sierras camping for free in California
[Our campsite near Mono Lake – you can even see the lake through the trees!]
It’s boutta be the summer of (free!) camping in California! I honestly love camping and always have, even when I was in high school and my preferred habitat was the mall. I’d still be more than happy to bust out a tent (or just sleep under the stars like I used to do on the balcony at my dad’s house) and I’m not one to be bothered by bugs or a little dirt. (Like when I shocked everyone I knew and joined the conservation corps – not showering for a week quickly became the norm).

However, we only went camping a handful of times when I was younger. So, when I graduated college I decided it was time to make all my camping dreams come true. That said, campsites can expensive AF, especially here in the US, and I was coincidentally broke AF. I needed to find a solution.

And then I stumbled upon BLM land. More about that below. First, some story time! If you hate stories feel free to skip to the “Why I Love Free Camping” section.

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House Sitting Mishaps: An Emergency Vet Visit

Cat Cuddled Next to a Computer
[Cat cuddles are my fave]
House sitting is amazing. I’m obsessed with it. But it’s also a LOT of responsibility – you’re usually not just watching people’s homes, but also their pets. Pets are family, so you definitely want to be sure that Fido is taken care of properly.

So what happens when things go awry?

Let’s go back to the house sit I scored in Hamburg, Germany in August 2017. I just want to gush for a second – it was PERFECT. I still don’t really understand how it even happened – I genuinely think I somehow manifested it?

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A Beautiful Fjord Tour from Bergen: Review of Rødne Fjord Cruise

Pretty white house in nature surrounded by mountains and fog on the fjord cruise in Bergen, Norway
[IDK how the heck this is real but it is in Norway]
So, this fjord tour from Bergen was like…Over a year ago?? But I had to post it now simply for the fact that it ended up being one of my highlights from 2019 and probably one of my favorite experiences in my entire life. Yes. It is THAT good.

And to be honest I just wanted an excuse to look through my photos and reminisce again, LOL so here we are.

And no, this post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form – I just genuinely loved this Bergen fjord cruise that much. Visiting the Norwegian fjords was a huge bucket list item of mine, and I’m happy to say it somehow exceeded my embarrassingly high expectations. I do admit that while Bergen was cool, it wasn’t my FAVORITE place ever (although I did LOVE the hills and easy access to nature), BUT it was home to my favorite activity ever and that is the fjord cruise.

Norwegian Flag Waving on the Rødne Fjord Cruise Tour Boat with mountains in the background
[Norway you da bomb]
I was super on the fence about going (like would it really be worth the $$$??) but, as mentioned previously, it was AWESOME and I want to help/convince other people also on the fence because trust me, you won’t. REGRET. IT.

Here’s all you need to know about your first Norwegian fjord cruise and why I loved this fjord tour so much and would 38578348349% go on another one.

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VIP Kid Classroom Background Ideas from 12 Traveling Teachers

Online VIP Kid English teacher with background and a monkey propI’ve been working for VIP Kid for over a year now, and it’s been a great way to make a living as a digital nomad. I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first (is it a scam? Can you actually make money??) but after my first 6 months of teaching, I determined it was a great gig and one I could see myself doing longterm.

When I first decided I wanted to travel and teach, I had no idea what to pack. What props should I use? Reward systems? And what in the world should I use as a background? I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something that was bulky or difficult to set up.

If you’re in the same situation I was, these 12 teachers share their VIP Kid classroom background to help you figure out what will work best for you!

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The Pros and Cons of Digital Nomad Life

Digital nomad on a laptop on a couch in Austria - the pros & cons of living the digital nomad lifestyle
[I know it may seem like digital nomad life is all palm trees and coconuts but it’s also missed flights, visa runs, and sometimes lonely AF]
Looking to take the leap (once it’s safe to do so, of course) and interested in becoming a digital nomad?

Here’s what I love (and hate) about living a nomadic life.

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Digital Nomad Life During Coronavirus

Girl in flower blossoms in Austrian countryside
[Hanging out with blossoms isn’t so bad]
This is a weird and scary time for everyone. In reality, I know I’m pretty lucky in my current situation.

But I thought it might be interesting to share what being nomadic and not really having a ‘home’ is like when a pandemic hits.

So, let’s back up and I’ll start from the beginning. Back when everyone had a normal amount of toilet paper in their closet and hand sanitizer wasn’t being upsold for $484993.

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VIP Kid Background & Classroom Set Up Tips for Traveling Teachers

Teaching English online with VIP Kid is a great remote job for digital nomads and those who want a location independent lifestyle.
[My current, very simple setup]
Being a nomadic teacher is SO FUN, let me tell you. Teaching for VIP Kid is pretty much the reason that I’m still able to travel so much!

BUT it also means I have to get a little creative with my VIP Kid background and set up sometimes. Like attaching cardboard to the back of a chair kind of creative.

And that my background has to be portable, too, and not take up too much space in my already overflowing suitcase (packing is hard, but my nomadic packing list for Europe makes life a little easier).

Here are my suggestions after a year of teaching while traveling:

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VIP Kid Props List for Beginning & Nomadic Teachers

Must have props for traveling and new VIP Kid and online English teachers!

Yeah, I get it. You JUST got hired to teach English online for VIP Kid and are wondering, well, what the heck do I use for props? And no, VIP Kid doesn’t currently provide any props of their own, but nor do they require you to purchase any (although they do ask you to have some for the interview – you can always make those, though). However, they certainly make teaching (and traveling) easier!

Or, you’re wanting to start traveling (as soon as that whole, you know, pandemic thing comes to an end) and are like, I can’t bring everything with me, so what SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?

Do not fear, fellow VIP Kid teacher! Before you stuff your suitcase full of Dinos or throw away all your hard earned cash, let me assure you: You do NOT need to choose VIP Kid props over an extra pair of shoes or spend hundreds on things you’ll probably never use.

A whiteboard is an important prop for VIP Kid teachers
[My whiteboard is LIFE]
If I’m being honest, I don’t use as many props as I used to because I feel like it can kinda take away from the lesson at times, and some of the kids really don’t seem to care anyway.

Plus, when I’m teaching back to back to back lessons, I just don’t have time during the 5 minute break in between lessons to reorganize everything. That time is used for jotting down notes that I’ll later use in feedback (idk how anyone has figured out how to finish it during or right after the lesson – I’m still on team #doitlater).

I’m also usually able to find things around the house if needed most of the time, too. Need to show a student what a cube is? Great, I’ll use a tissue box! Lesson on food? I’ll grab an egg from the kitchen.

Being a VIP Kid teacher is a great job for a digital nomad! You really don’t have to take too much with you, and you can pretty much teach from anywhere as long as the wifi is strong enough.

Here are my favorite VIP Kid props that I drag along with me:

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5 Ways I’ve Made Money Online & Tips for Finding Remote Jobs

How I've gotten remote jobs and made money online working from home, including freelance writing, teaching English online, virtual assistant work, and more! #remotework #remotejobs

How’s your quarantine going? What day are you on? Have you made friends with and drawn a face on any fruits and/or vegetables you have lying around a la Wilson from Cast Away?

I am currently on my way to becoming BFFs with one of the oranges in my fruit basket. You?

But why not get paid during this extra free time you have? It’s 2020, and remote work is here to stay!

I personally do all my work remotely and really enjoy the freedom (ironic much?) it gives me. I make my own hours and take on the work I want when I want. I’m really working to try and diversify my income as I don’t want to put all my eggs in one little basket, so here’s what I’ve done in the past year since becoming a digital nomad to make money online.

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